As you can see, I'm back. We recently had occasion to taste the 2003 William Fevre Premier Cru Chablis which was so classic, so minerally, flinty and crisp, that it brought us back to our trip to the town of Chablis several years ago when we didn't need a designated driver because we could just walk down the main street and taste from most of the great houses of Chablis. Back then William Fevre was one of our favorites and this Premier Cru, which must be made from overages or a blend of various vineyards, reminded us of their vineyard designated premier cru wines such as Montmains and Fourchaume. As with most French wines, Chablis is a food wine, although we enjoyed the 2003 Premier Cru as an aperitif as well. Although it is made from Chardonnay, California drinkers will not recognize this wine, with it's hint of oak and lots of steeliness, as chardonnay. No vanilla and tropical fruit here. Great with fish and seafood.
There are four levels of Chablis - Grand Crus, Premier Crus, Chablis and Petit Chablis. Grand Crus are the seven best vineyards - Les Preuses, Les Clos, Vaudesir, Valmur, Grenouilles, Bougros, and Blanchot. There are many premier cru vineyards. Some to look for are: Montee de Tonnere, Montmains, Fourchaumes and Vaillons. Chablis and Petit Chablis are usually not vineyard designated and are generally too tart for American tastes. Unfortunately, these days with inflation and exchange rates, Chablis has gotten quite expensive. Expect to pay $20 and up for a decent bottle.